For Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, design is a practice, and pre-collections are a bridge exercise to carry over details from the last season and experiment while looking ahead to the next.
For resort, they carried over their 1940s-ish nipped waists and full skirt silhouettes from fall, but with a new wearability, also ditching the cumbersome bubble hems for more lightness and everyday ease.
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Skirts were short and full, in ’90s-throwback, sporty black silk taffeta nylon with crinoline sewn into the hems to give them some bounce, and jacquard damask nipped-waist blazers were paired with black nylon track pants, lace socks and pointed python pumps nodding to the quirkiness of Proenza’s Gen Z muses like Ella Emhoff.
Their now signature buttoned shoulders and sleeves, which allow for fashion futzing, or what they call mis-buttoning, were translated over into tailoring to great effect on double face cashmere coats that looked like a chic new classic.
They brought back their beloved fringe, but not on bike shorts, using it instead as a more subtle detail on a punchy yellow knit minidress.
On the subject of knitwear, the designers get really turned on.
“They’re so many things you can do now that you couldn’t do even a couple years ago,” McCollough said of the innovations.
“You don’t have to add any seams or darts, you can just carve it to the body,” Hernandez added.
“We love the idea of building all of the construction into the knitwear, and there are so many materials you can play with like sequins and velvet. Plus, we’re all wearing T-shirts and sweaters; people live their life in knitwear, so it’s fun to explore those codes in a more dressed up way,” McCollough said.
Case in point: a mélange purple-brown-copper sequin knit, side-slit bodylicious dress, with cutouts integral to the design, meaning it came off the knitting machine like that. Just gorgeous.
They also created a novel velvet ribbed knit, using it to put their own spin on the ubiquitous knit set, dressed up in pale lavender with a long, lean top and flared pants pooling atop their new Stomp boot that looks just like it sounds.
Casual evening looks were strong, including easy shirtdresses in jersey or chiffon dressed up with patch pockets, collar and sides edged in rows of hand-sewn crystal studs. “It’s effortless…not like an annoying gown,” Hernandez said of the marriage of lightness and hardware.
The accessories business is really taking off, the designers said, noting several new bag styles they are continuing with, including the Braided Chain and the Drawstring bag in a new covetable crinkly metallic leather. On the footwear front, stretch glove leather booties and over-knee boots are new.
Ahead of their 20th anniversary next year, they also looked back on some old favorites, revisiting the bustier, “which we haven’t touched in years,” said McCollough, as an example.
They’re already making plans to celebrate. “We’re working on a project for next September that’s a compilation of all 20 years,” Hernandez said.
Launch Gallery: Proenza Schouler Resort 2023